Espanola Way
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Our Story

BusinessFlare® was created in 2012, in response to the need for smaller cities with limited resources to compete for economic development.

BusinessFlare® is a unique, trademarked approach to economic development that integrates market reality into a local government’s strategic plan, annual budget process and day-to-day operations. It is practical methodology we use to identify an effective strategy that efficiently utilizes limited staff resources. The BusinessFlare® approach has been used to plan revitalization in over 30 communities, and following the plan will result in real estate investment, new retail business openings, less vacant storefronts, more commercial development, viable public private partnerships, and new jobs!

Economic Development is inevitable, but where it occurs is not. So we focus on the key drivers of investment, combining an evaluation of the real world influence a local government has over each driver with recognition of the influences that are beyond the local government’s control. This is essential to identify strategies that truly encourage economic growth and strengthen a community’s credibility, customer service and cash flow potential.

Meet the Team

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Kevin S Crowder, CEcD

Principal

Former Director, Economic Development & Government Affairs, City of Miami Beach

Mr. Crowder is an IEDC Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), whose primary areas of expertise are business and entrepreneurial assistance, private capital investment, market research, public-private partnerships, redevelopment agency programs, and government affairs. He has conducted detailed economic, fiscal and market analysis for business development, investment, and policy issues and created a broad municipal market research and business assistance program. He is a member of the International Economic Development Council, the International Council of Shopping Centers, the Council of Development Finance Agencies, the Urban Land Institute, the American Economic Association, the Craft Brewers Association, the American Legion, the Florida Brewers Guild, the Choctaw Nation, ASCAP, the International Chili Society and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Florida Redevelopment Association and the Florida Council for Public-Private Partnerships.

Some of the areas Mr. Crowder focuses on are niche revitalization drivers, especially live music and craft breweries. as a practicing musician, he understands the live music industry from every perspective, including performer, venue operator and owner, and local government. He understands how to use live music as a branding strategy that promotes the revitalization of other sectors. His experience includes the Fillmore Miami Beach and the Colony Theater. He has also worked with craft breweries as downtown catalysts and understands the economics and real estate concerns of building and operating breweries. He has worked on-site selection and attraction of breweries, and created brewery recruitment incentives, and assisted with the creation of the first brewery district in Florida.

His experience includes 15 years with the City of Miami Beach and the Miami Beach Redevelopment Agency as the Director of Economic Development and Government Affairs, leading the City's economic development program and multi-jurisdictional lobbying efforts. Mr Crowder began his economic development career in 1994 with the South Beach Business Improvement Districts and the South Beach Marketing Council. His expertise includes economic development, public-private partnerships, market research, redevelopment planning, market-based zoning, business improvement districts, fiscal impact estimates government affairs, and real estate development proformas.

 

Charita Allen

Project Director

Former Deputy Administrator, Economic Development, City of Chattanooga

Ms. Allen has more than 16 years of Economic & Community Development experience, including a recently appointed position with the City of Chattanooga. As the Deputy Administrator, she was responsible for designing and overseeing Economic Development Programs and Workforce Development Initiatives. In addition to project implementation for incentivized Business Attraction and Retention projects, she also managed industrial site preparation and revised legislation for outdated economic development programs and financing initiatives.

Prior to her role with the City of Chattanooga, Ms. Allen worked as an economic development consultant throughout Florida. She also served as the Vice President for Economic Development and Urban Initiatives at the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County’s Officials Economic Development Partnership. In partnership with more than 20 municipalities, she designed, oversaw, and directed targeted industry economic development activities throughout Miami-Dade County, with a special focus on urban incentives, Florida Enterprise Zones, and other designated areas for redevelopment.

Ms. Allen is a Tennessee native and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. She is a member of International Economic Development Council, Urban Land Institute, and the Project Management Institute and serves on the Board of Directors for the Chattanooga Design Studio and American Institute of Architects, Chattanooga Chapter.

 

Alicia Alleyne, MBA

Operations and Project Manager

Alicia Alleyne’s professional experience includes executive level business management and operations, human resources, real estate administration, special project coordination, marketing and event planning. She has a proven ability to build and maintain business relationships with a diverse team and is proficient at multitasking. She also has extensive coordination, research and analytical skills. Ms. Alleyne provides a broad range of support, contributing to business development, conducting special research projects, and overall operations.

She has experience with Florida cities and CRAs, maintaining communications with the City officials, monitoring the CRA budgets and assisting in the facilitation of CRA related economic development activities. As a former adjunct professor at the University of Fort Lauderdale Ms. Alleyne instructed property management and other business related courses.

 

 

Farrell Tiller, MBA
Economic Development and Market Research

Mr. Tiller’s passion for analytics and community/economic development stems from his education background at Florida Atlantic University where he completed a Bachelor of Arts in finance. Upon completion of undergraduate graduate coursework, Mr. Tiller began working as an economic development research and market analyst, and has expanded his role to become an Economic Development Project Manager. He furthered his education by achieving a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Florida Atlantic University and his background includes experience in finance and budgeting, operations, communication, consensus building, and event planning.

Mr. Tiller’s professional expertise includes market research, analysis and strategy for redevelopment planning, creation of business improvement districts, housing strategies, retail strategies, preparation of economic development plans for business attraction and retention, as well as marketing and communication strategies.

 

 

Camilo Lopez
Strategic Urban Thinker and Urban Design

For more than 7 years, Camilo Lopez has developed a broad knowledge in redevelopment, urban planning and design, architecture, city branding, and economic development with government agencies. His experience includes site feasibility analysis, city strategic visioning, master planning, form-based codes, land use and transportation, architectural design, tactical urbanism, art and cultural programming events and project implementation management. Camilo is  highly knowledgeable of the planning process, by applying state, county and local codes, ordinances and regulations and all other planning and de- sign chores. He has worked with many municipalities across South and Central Florida and abroad. His projects have successfully attracted millions of dollars and created many jobs at every location he has worked. Camilo is an advocate for Quality of Life, People-Centered Design, New Urbanism, Transit Oriented Development, Tactical Urbanism, and Placemaking.

 

 

LinA dUQUE

Creative Director

 Ms. Duque is a creative director with experience in brand development and management, promotions and product placement, and graphic design. Her creative experience includes cutting edge design for many new establishments in South Beach during the early days of the revitalization of the historic district, and significant experience developing and implementing promotional programs for hotels, restaurants, nightclubs. and public agencies

 

She has provided creative services to organizations that include Team Bacardi, Estefan Enterprises, the South Beach Marketing Council, the Cardozo Hotel, the Miami Beach Development Corporation, the City of Miami, the Miami Design Preservation League, the Miami-Beach Redevelopment Agency, and many other local public and private organizations. She has a keen understanding of the private sector and their approach to driving business and cash flow through marketing, and the ability to problem solve client issues and quickly respond to requests with viable, efficient, and affordable solutions. She is a native English and Spanish speaker with significant experience as a translator for various types of clients.

 

 

Peter Altman
Tampa Area Project Manager

Peter Altman has the skill sets and institutional knowledge to assist communities in developing strategies based on reasonable objectives through the public deliberative process. He has served on many advisory Boards, including the following; Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (currently serving again), Tourist Development Council, Metropolitan Planning Organization, and Tampa Bay Water. While serving New Port Richey both as Mayor and subsequently as a County Commissioner defending the home rule powers of his City, he developed the leadership skills and governmental knowledge needed to assist other communities.

He has once again been elected to the City Council of New Port Richey where he continues to pursue redevelopment and revitalization. His interest in redevelopment is rooted in his lifelong experience living in Pasco County, Florida which has grown from 25,000 residents to nearly 500,000. He continues to focus his attention and support on revitalization efforts needed for vibrant, sustainable cities. Serving as New Port Richey’s Finance Director for two years, the City received achievement awards for excellence in both the preparation of the City Budget, including the CRA Budget as well as the Consolidated Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

 

kent bonde
Redevelopment and Financing Strategies

Mr Bonde has an extensive and diversified background in project administration, asset management and redevelopment experience. During his 26-year career with the City of Miami Beach, he was responsible for managing a wide variety of development and redevelopment initiatives within the City's City Center Historic Convention Village and South Pointe Community Redevelopment Areas. He led the creation, update and ultimate approval of the City Center Historic Convention Village CRA Plan in 1992 and the CRA Plan amendment in 2001. This Amendment reflected the existing conditions and future plans for the redevelopment area, implemented the preliminary proposed master plan for the 17th Street parking lots implemented and funded community policing innovations and utilized TIF for a business assistance program.

 

 

Julio Magrisso
Parks and Recreation and Open Space

Julio Magrisso has over fifteen years in the Park and Recreation field as a Director and Assistant Director. His focus and expertise as a Park administrator are in Recreation, Administration and Park construction build-out supervision. He managed all aspects of the Recreation Divisions to include after school programming, summer camps, senior activities, youth and adult sports and special populations.

Hewas responsible for numerous construction projects as either liaison with the CIP Department or project manager of smaller projects completely managed by the Parks Department. He completed over 30 small capital projects in a short 3 year span, all on time and within budget, to include recreation center renovations, park re-lighting and re-surfacing, playground/ tot lot re-building, etc.

 

Rachel Bach, AICP
Planning, Land Development Regulations, and Economic Development

Rachel Bach is a seasoned professional with 24 years experience in the areas of economic development, housing, redevelopment, transportation demand management, and urban planning with a “hands on” approach to managing projects and staff, a commitment to customer service and a passion for preserving community character while growing active downtowns and commercial districts.

ConnecToledo, Downtown Development Corporation (Toledo, OH) President/CEO (2017 – 2019)
Chief Executive of the newly relaunched Downtown Development Corporation. Improved efficiencies and reorganized operations to include rolling off public parking management into a separate entity and combined operations of the Corporation with the Downtown Toledo Improvement District. Managed overall downtown maintenance and hospitality services provided by the Downtown Ambassadors and coordinated with the City, County, Council of Governments and other organizations on downtown transportation projects and riverfront events and urban trail planning.

She has provided contracted municipal executive and management services in the areas of economic development and urban redevelopment managing all aspects of administration, marketing, capital projects, facilities and maintenance. Past assignments include managing multiple redevelopment agencies providing forensic reviews and reorganization including financial management practices, consulting and maintenance practices and contracts and bid processes. Also provided general planning and zoning consulting services related to redevelopment initiatives and project management for other cities.

At the City of Lake Worth, Florida, she served as the Interim Community Services Director where she provided direct management and coordination of a departmental reorganization to Building, Code Compliance, and Planning and Historic Preservation divisions into a centralized and coordinated Community Services Department. Established cross-disciplinary teams to address redevelopment matters including unsafe structures, overcrowding issues, and streamlining enforcement of a “demolition by neglect” historic preservation ordinance.

Partners

Ken Stapleton and Associates

With over 30 years of urban revitalization and economic development experience, Ken provides urban economic development program strategy and project management services related to university-community partnerships, innovative urban safety programs, public health initiatives, urban mobility projects, urban place management, place branding, and urban redevelopment strategies to a variety of public and private clients throughout the United States and Canada.

Ken is also the President and CEO of the award-winning SafedesignTM Institute, an organization providing innovative design services, communications strategies, training, program evaluation, and organizational development guidance related to real and perceived safety in urban environments.  He speaks regularly at national and international conferences about the topic.

 

Lincoln Walther Consulting

After 24 years as the Planning Director with CSA Ocean Sciences Inc., Lincoln Walther established his own planning firm in 2014, primarily working with local and state governments across the United States. Over the past 20 years, he has provided specialized expertise in hazard assessment and risk reduction, benefit-cost analysis, and development
of actionable strategies, including structural and non-structural measures, and significant agricultural related work.

His expertise focuses on long-term recovery, resiliency, hazard mitigation plans, wildfire
mitigation plans, flood recovery plans, and post-disaster redevelopment programs.

 

 

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Next Steps...

For more information on how BusinessFlare can help grow your local economy or help you start or expand your business, please contact us.